Cheshire East urges people to ‘love thy neighbour’
Cheshire East Council is launching a nominated neighbour scheme to tackle bogus callers and distraction thefts.
The project, developed by the Council’s consumer protection and investigations team, is designed to help vulnerable people who are known targets for criminals who cold call at their homes.
It will mean people can be protected by someone they know and trust, such as a neighbour or relative.
The vulnerable person will be given a card that they hold up to a window or door which advises any unidentified or unexpected caller to go to the address of a nominated neighbour. This person will then check the caller’s identity.
If they are genuine, the nominated neighbour will return with them and supervise the visit to make sure that nothing untoward takes place and will remain there until the caller has left.
Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “People have a right to live safely and independently in their own homes. However, not everyone has the confidence to deal robustly with callers at their door.
“Sadly bogus callers target the vulnerable people in our communities and abuse their trust. Apart from the financial loss, the emotional cost to the person targeted can be significant. This scheme sends a clear message that our community is standing together to tackle this type of criminality. I am pleased the scheme is being rolled out throughout Cheshire East and that more people will benefit from the practical safety net it provides.
“If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour or relative, then please come forward as a nominated neighbour for them. Our aim is to encourage as many people as possible to take up the scheme and reduce the number of victims.”
This scheme will help limit the opportunity for doorstep callers to con their way into homes. Once they fail to gain access and the community is alert to their activities it will act as a strong deterrent to stop them returning in the future.
To obtain a nominated neighbour, call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.
Photo caption – Kay Roberts, Cheshire East Council consumer protection and investigations team manager, with the nominated neighbour cards.